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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've done extensive research into a new drop-bar bike for commuting, singletrack/XC/cross, gravel, and limited rec road riding. Ideal frame would be steel or titanium, but since my commute is hot and hilly, I want a really light bike. So far, the Jamis Renegade Escapade looks like the best option for avoiding the cost of a typical titanium bike - I could maybe go into the $3,500 range. If I went to aluminum, the options open up, so if you have thoughts on that, then I'd be glad to know them, but my reservations about the rigidity of an aluminum frame are getting in the way. Not interested in carbon.

Must haves:
  • Rear rack mounts for commuting
  • 1x drivetrain
  • 22 lbs or less
  • 42mm tire clearance at 700c / 45mm at 650b
Wants:
  • Front mounts for Anything Cage (3 holes) or similar 2-holed system like Blackburn's
  • Rival or higher drivetrain
  • More tire clearance

What other bikes should I be looking at? Lynskey seems like the only Ti option in my budget, but their framesets are heavy and they won't tell me how much the full build weighs. Al builds I've considered are Rocky Mountain Solo 70, Nukeproof Digger Pro, and Felt Breed 20.
 

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Thanks for the tip. I'll check Vitus.
It's the best bike for the buck for sure. I use mine for basically 25% gravel, 50% commute, 25% singletrack.

For gravel and commute is use 700c x 38 gravelking slicks. For singletrack I use 650b x 2.2 XC tires. With the money I saved, I got the 650b wheels and dropper post installed.

The Rocky Solo, Felt Breed, Nukeproof were also on my shortlist. But the Vitus won out on price and has not disappointed.
 

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There are a lot of steel bikes that could meet your specs, but not many that would weigh in under 22lbs. Right now my SOMA Wolverine weighs about 25#, but I have 32h i23s on old XT hubs, the original steel fork, pretty simple bars/stem/post, and a heavy Ritchey saddle. Lighter wheels, saddle, carbon fork, and nice finishing kit would probably get me into the 20-21# range pretty easily. But, $$$. For $3500, it could be done though.
 

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Had a look through the ti frames on ebay. There's a handful of mostly-used gravel frames for around a grand.

If one of those suited (there's a nice XLab on there and a Foundry), you could easily build up a sub-20 lb ti bike for $3.5 with careful selection, including some used lightweight components like the crank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
There are a lot of steel bikes that could meet your specs, but not many that would weigh in under 22lbs. Right now my SOMA Wolverine weighs about 25#, but I have 32h i23s on old XT hubs, the original steel fork, pretty simple bars/stem/post, and a heavy Ritchey saddle. Lighter wheels, saddle, carbon fork, and nice finishing kit would probably get me into the 20-21# range pretty easily. But, $$$. For $3500, it could be done though.
Love that Wolverine. Not a bad thought to build one up light. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Had a look through the ti frames on ebay. There's a handful of mostly-used gravel frames for around a grand.

If one of those suited (there's a nice XLab on there and a Foundry), you could easily build up a sub-20 lb ti bike for $3.5 with careful selection, including some used lightweight components like the crank.
Also a good idea - what terms did you use to search? My searches didn't come up with XLab or Foundry.
 

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Love that Wolverine. Not a bad thought to build one up light. Thanks.
Anytime, seems like it ticks most of your boxes. If you are local you can come test ride mine - I live in SF Bay Area. Being a relatively small run production, and frame only when purcahsed new, it might be hard finding one built up to test ride. I do have to say though, the ride is pretty great. 42c tubeless tires and vibrant steel makes it like riding an orange cloud most of the time.
 

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I'm almost at 7k miles on my Otso Warakin. You can run bigger tires than you're asking too.

A Waheela steel might be more reasonable and mountain bikey though
 

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I'm almost at 7k miles on my Otso Warakin. You can run bigger tires than you're asking too.

A Waheela steel might be more reasonable and mountain bikey though


edit- didnt see the fork requirements. The Lithic fork doesnt have any mounts so you'd need a different one
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
edit- didnt see the fork requirements. The Lithic fork doesnt have any mounts so you'd need a different one
Yeah, but you can get the frame with no fork. Thanks for the tip on Otso - I'm not sure how people are supposed to find smaller brands like this (outside of asking on forums!).
 
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